Just 6 weeks into pregnancy, tooth buds start to develop – this is when the basic substance of the tooth is formed. Next, the hard tissue that surrounds the teeth is formed by about 3 to 4 months of gestation. By the time your baby is born, 20 baby/milk teeth have already developed under the gums.
When will my baby get their first teeth?
Normally, baby teeth start erupting around 6 months of age. Some babies might start as early as 4 months while others may be taking their jolly good time and the first tooth might only appear around their first birthday. Tooth development is hereditary. If you or your husband got your teeth early, chances are your baby will too. Either way, your baby will soon have 20 primary/milk teeth, which are also called deciduous teeth.
How long does teething last?
It takes about 8 days for teething to start and finish for each tooth. Symptoms develop about 4 days before the tooth appears and last for about 4 days afterwards. But, even before the teeth erupt, it is important to clean your baby’s gums and tongue at least twice a day, and preferable after each feeding. As soon as teeth start erupting, it is necessary to brush them and continue cleaning the tongue.
Some babies get lots of relief from using a teething ring while teething. These are safe for your baby to chew on and come in all shapes and sizes, including ones that you can chill in the fridge. It may help to ease discomfort and distract your baby from the pain.
Once your baby is older than 6 months, you can feed him/her cold foods straight from the fridge. During teething this might give him/her some relief. Try fruit and veg such as cold banana and cucumber.
Primary teeth are lighter in colour (whiter) and smaller than permanent teeth. Because of the spaces between the teeth, it is more likely for decay to start where the teeth are touching each other. Once all 20 baby teeth have erupted, the teeth towards the back of your baby’s mouth are at greater risk for decay.
Teething: the sequence of eruption of a baby’s teeth
5 months (typical: 4 to 7 months)
Your baby’s gums may be swollen and red where the teeth are coming through. He might be chewing on things more than usual and one cheek might be red.
It’s not uncommon for your baby to be generally unsettled while teething – they might dribble quite a bit too.
6 months (typical: 5 to 10 months)
The two bottom middle teeth typically emerge first. These are called lower central incisors.
7 months (typical 5 to 10 months)
The upper middle teeth come next. These are called upper central incisors.
9 to 16 months (typical: 9 to 12 months)
Your baby’s top teeth right next to the middle teeth make their appearance. These are called upper lateral incisors.
14 months (typical: 12 to 19 months)
The first molars come in on the bottom and the top at about the same time. These are used to crush and grind their food.
18 months (typical 16 to 23 months)
Your baby’s canine/cuspid teeth come through on the top and bottom. These fill the gap between the incisors and first molars. These are the sharp pointed teeth used for tearing food.
26 months (typical: 20 to 33 months)
The very back teeth, or second molars, grow through the bottom and top gums.
Two and a half to three years
Your toddler probably has a full set of 20 primary teeth by now.
Often moms ask if it is normal to have spaces between the baby teeth. The answer is yes, because your child’s jaw and the bones in his face grow to make space between the milk teeth for the permanent/adult teeth to come in.
At around 6 years of age, your toddler will start losing their baby teeth and the permanent dentition will start erupting.
This might be delayed for as much as a year in some children. Girls usually lose their first teeth earlier than boys and it’s often one of the front teeth at the bottom that goes first.
When will a child lose their baby/milk teeth & get their permanent teeth?
The baby teeth will stay in place until they are pushed out by the permanent teeth underneath. During this process, the roots of the baby teeth get resorbed, so only the crown of the baby tooth is left with very little to hold onto the gum. Eventually it becomes loose and falls out or gets removed with very little effort.
The permanent teeth will fill the spaces where the primary teeth fell out, except for the permanent molars, which will erupt in the space behind the second baby molars. The first permanent molars will erupt at around 6 years of age. And the second permanent molars will erupt behind the first permanent molars at around 12 years of age.
If a child loses a baby tooth early, as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd the permanent teeth and cause them to be crooked.
Teeth vary in size, shape and location in the jaw. These differences enable teeth to work together to help you chew, speak and smile – they also give your face its shape and form.
Here is an illustration of when to expect the baby teeth to fall out so you can start negotiations with the tooth fairy in good time! A sound bit of advice: Please tell the tooth fairy that even though she must be very excited that her little one is starting to lose his baby teeth, it’s an ongoing process and remuneration will need to happen 20 times, so it might be a good idea not to have the bounty on the first loose tooth too high because you’ll be under pressure to keep it up!
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Reading Time: 4 minutesJust 6 weeks into pregnancy, tooth buds start to develop – this is when the basic substance of the tooth is formed. …